India is the land of culture and festivals and the one common element that you cannot go without is sweets and delicacies! While many of you prepare to celebrate it virtually through a physically distanced Gudi Padwa, ensure that you not only have a safe but a healthy festival by making simple lifestyle modifications.

Sugar is one of the most common elements attributed to lifestyle-related disorders and is often referred to as the “silent killer”. Sugar is deep rooted in Indian culture and traditions and plays a significant part of our lives. Over the years, the negative narrative around sugar has been gaining ground with the increase in diabetes. Caught between this dichotomy, sugar has become a double-edged sword, given this, one is currently conflicted. Therefore, it is important to switch from sugar to healthier alternatives and make small changes in your lifestyle and kitchen tops to not thrive during festive season — especially at this point in time, with the second wave hitting India in full swing. It is of prime importance to promote healthy eating and strengthen your immunity by ditching the silent killers.

Enjoy the festivities guilt-free with these tips:

Cut aerated drinks from your celebrations

Most parties and gatherings are usually always accompanied with fizzy beverages. The sugar levels in these drinks are very high. Try replacing these drinks with natural immunity-boosting juices, green tea and butter milk.

Swap white and milk chocolate for dark chocolate

Try switching to dark chocolate this Ugadi as it contains cocoa which has antioxidants that help prevent excessive weight gain. A double celebration would be one that contains dark chocolate which is also sugar free!

Ditch table sugar for low calorie sweeteners

Sugar is a no-compromise element in most delicacies and sweets. Thus it is imperative to switch to healthier alternatives like sugar-free low calorie sweeteners, that are not only deemed safe for consumption by authorised council bodies, but also ensure that one does not compromise on the sweetness criteria! Both purposes solved!

Introduce healthy snacking

Parties are filled with chips and other fried snacks that one simply cannot resist gorging on. Replace your chips tray with almonds, healthy nuts and make them a part of the festive spread. They are filled with nutrients and keep your hunger at bay in-between meals.

Swap candies with fresh fruit and prepare sweets at home

Preparing the sweets at home will not only help you pay attention to the quantity and size, but will also make you conscious about the amount of butter/sweeteners/salt being used. Use substitutes like olive oil/ghee instead of regular oil, sugar for low calorie sweeteners, dry fruit instead of candies, whole grain instead of maida, etc.

By Nutritionist Ishi Khosla